49 Facts About Joseph Cotten


Joseph Cotten achieved prominence on Broadway, starring in the original stage productions of The Philadelphia Story and Sabrina Fair.

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Joseph Cotten then gained worldwide fame in three Orson Welles films: Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, and Journey into Fear, for which Cotten was credited with the screenplay.

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Joseph Cotten went on to become one of the leading Hollywood actors of the 1940s, appearing in films such as Shadow of a Doubt, Gaslight, Love Letters, Duel in the Sun, Portrait of Jennie for which he won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, The Third Man and Niagara .

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Joseph Cotten was born in 1905 in Petersburg, Virginia, the first of three boys born for Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr.

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Joseph Cotten grew up in the Tidewater region and showed an aptitude for drama and a gift for storytelling.

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In 1923, when Cotten was 18, his family arranged for him to receive private lessons at the Hickman School of Expression in Washington, D C, and underwrote his expenses.

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Joseph Cotten earned spending money playing professional football on Sundays, for $25 a quarter.

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Joseph Cotten moved to New York and went to work for David Belasco as an assistant stage manager.

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Joseph Cotten struggled to find work in the depression so turned to modeling and acting in industrial films.

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Joseph Cotten made his Broadway debut in 1932 in Absent Friends which ran for 88 performances.

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Joseph Cotten followed it with Jezebel, staged by Katherine Cornell and Guthrie McClintic, which only had a short run.

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In 1934, Joseph Cotten met and became friends with Orson Welles, a fellow cast member on CBS Radio's The American School of the Air.

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Joseph Cotten was sure that Horse Eats Hat won him the notice of his future Broadway co-star, Katharine Hepburn.

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In 1937, Joseph Cotten became an inaugural member of Welles's Mercury Theatre company, starring in its Broadway productions Caesar as Publius; it ran for 157 performances.

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Joseph Cotten followed it with The Shoemaker's Holiday and Danton's Death for Welles.

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Joseph Cotten performed in radio dramas presented on The Mercury Theatre on the Air and The Campbell Playhouse.

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Joseph Cotten made his film debut in the Welles-directed short, Too Much Johnson, a comedy that was intended to complement the aborted 1938 Mercury stage production of William Gillette's 1894 play.

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However, Joseph Cotten was the only one of the four to find major success as a lead in Hollywood outside of Citizen Kane; Moorehead and Collins became successful character film actors and Warrick spent decades in a career in daytime television.

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Joseph Cotten starred in Welles's adaptation and production of The Magnificent Ambersons .

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Joseph Cotten was cast in the Nazi-related thriller Journey into Fear based on the novel by Eric Ambler.

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In late 1943, Joseph Cotten visited Welles's office and said that producer David O Selznick wanted to make two or three films with him, but that he wanted him under his own contract.

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Selznick loaned out Joseph Cotten and Ingrid Bergman to MGM for the thriller Gaslight which was a major hit.

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Joseph Cotten then made Portrait of Jennie for Selznick, co starring with Jones; Joseph Cotten played a melancholy artist who becomes obsessed with a girl who might have died many years before.

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Joseph Cotten's performance won Cotten the International Prize for Best Actor at the 1949 Venice International Film Festival.

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Joseph Cotten was reunited with Welles in The Third Man, produced by Korda and Selznick.

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Joseph Cotten portrays a writer of pulp fiction who travels to postwar Vienna to meet his friend Harry Lime .

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Joseph Cotten then reunited with Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman in Under Capricorn as an Australian landowner with a shady past; it was a box office disappointment.

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Joseph Cotten did a Western at Universal, Untamed Frontier, during the filming of which he was injured.

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Joseph Cotten did a thriller for Andrew L Stone, The Steel Trap, which reunited with Teresa Wright from Shadow of a Doubt.

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Joseph Cotten narrated Egypt by Three and was reunited with Stone in A Blueprint for Murder .

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Joseph Cotten appeared in episodes of Celebrity Playhouse, The Ford Television Theatre, Star Stage, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and General Electric Theater.

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Joseph Cotten returned to features with The Bottom of the Bottle, The Killer Is Loose and The Halliday Brand .

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Joseph Cotten guest starred on Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, Telephone Time, Playhouse 90, Schlitz Playhouse, Zane Grey Theater, Suspicion, and Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse.

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Joseph Cotten made a cameo appearance in Welles'sTouch of Evil and a starring role in the film adaptation of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon .

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Joseph Cotten had another success on Broadway when he appeared in Once More, With Feeling which ran for 263 performances.

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Joseph Cotten returned to Broadway to appear in Calculated Risk, which ran for 221 performances and meant he had to turn down a role in a film Harrigan's Halo.

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Joseph Cotten guest starred on The Great Adventure, and 77 Sunset Strip, and did the pilot Alexander the Great .

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Joseph Cotten was top billed in The Great Sioux Massacre and The Tramplers, but back to support parts for The Money Trap and The Oscar .

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Joseph Cotten guest starred on Cimarron Strip, Ironside, and Journey to the Unknown and had a support role in Jack of Diamonds .

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Joseph Cotten had the lead in White Comanche and Latitude Zero and supported in the TV movies The Lonely Profession, Cutter's Trail .

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Joseph Cotten suffered a stroke in 1981 which caused him to temporarily lose his voice.

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In 1961 Joseph Cotten was admitted to membership in the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of North Carolina based on a collateral descent from Captain Hudson Whitaker, Seventh Regiment, North Carolina Continental Line.

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Joseph Cotten held Captain Whitaker's hereditary seat until his death in 1994.

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Joseph Cotten began years of therapy which in time made it possible for him to speak again.

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When Joseph Cotten announced he had written a book, Welles asked for the manuscript and read it that night.

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Joseph Cotten was buried at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia.

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At the 10th Venice International Film Festival, Joseph Cotten was given the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his performance in the film Portrait of Jennie .

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Joseph Cotten was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

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Joseph Cotten was portrayed by Tim Robbins in the 1985 TV film Malice in Wonderland, James Tupper in the film Me and Orson Welles and by Matthew Glave in the television series Feud, which depicts the filming of Hush.

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